Whether or not you recognize the names Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, you’ve likely seen their work. Both worked on the highly acclaimed “Cornetto trilogy” which features the classics Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. Now the two are teaming up again for a literary adaptation of a popular fantasy series, titled Rivers of London.
For those of you not in the know, Rivers of London is based on a book series by Ben Aaronovitch, of which Rivers of London is the first entry. The Peter Grant series is an urban fantasy that follows Probationary Constable Peter Grant as he becomes aware, through a series of grizzly murders, for all the supernatural that lurks in the shadows. Yes, in this world, gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and magic is on the rise. There are currently seven books in the series, along with some shorter novellas interspersed, with the eighth book coming out sometime in 2019.
Frost told Deadline that he first fell in love with the property when he read the first book while on vacation: “Suddenly we were in a position where I said ‘there’s this book that I loved’ and it became available, more or less. I was chuffed to bits that I could get the rights to make it into a TV show. Everyone wants to potentially find the next Game of Thrones and the chance to turn Rivers of London into an eight-hour movie and hopefully find someone who will financially back that is a real draw.”
Pegg is drawn to the new possibilities of adapting a book like this in today’s TV landscape: “This era we’re in now, TV has suddenly evolved into something far more cinematic, where you can tell stories and elaborate. A lot of books that are made into film are criticized for not being as good as the book, because they are contracted into something more simplistic. But what TV offers us now, which is a cinematic playing field, you can tell these stories with scope and get into creative detail.”
Aaronovitch, the author, seemed pretty pleased with the idea of this iconic duo tackling his work. “How could I say no [to Pegg and Frost]? I feel confident on several levels. I’m working with creators and I know these people don’t like bollocks. There will be creative conflicts and where external forces force us to make compromises but I know that the starting point is that we won’t make those compromises unless we have to. They are tremendous nerds and I don’t have to explain things to do them about magic, they just get it. We have a common language, which we don’t have in a lot of TV companies.”
No word yet as to when the show will come out, where it will air or who will be in the cast, but it is likely that both Pegg and Frost will have starring roles.